Mixing it Up: Two Tunes in One

Happy New Year everyone!

I thought I’d kick off 2016 with two tunes: a really old tune and a brand new one that fit together perfectly. I’m lucky enough to attend a folk music workshop with Laurel Swift one evening a week. We learn a new tune every time. One of the tunes I love for its simplicity is the Welsh tune, Pwt Ar y Bys, or Buttered Peas. Someone at the workshop mentioned they’d like the group to play two tunes simultaneously which fit together. I thought I would have a go at writing a tune that would fit with one we already play, and chose Pwt Ar y Bys. So here is my tune, Buttered Scones.

These two tunes are great to play together in a group instrumental lesson, or just between friends for fun. They are easy and enjoyable in their own right, and create a great ensemble piece when put together. Laurel added a third part; a drone (just one note, D in quavers all the way) which sounds great. Here are the unstoppable West London Folk Band (our weekly workshop group) playing this, then launching into a new time signature for a third tune, Barney Bralligan’s. Spot our illustrious leader break into a clog dance for the grand finale of the concert!

Magic can happen when you look beyond the dots and treat music like ingredients. Mix things up, try things out, see what delights you can cook up!

If you’re interested in folk tunes, the blog for Laurel’s workshops is a great one to follow. All the tunes, old and new which we learn each week are put up in the form of notation and a video so you can hear it.

Also well worth a visit is Jenny Glover’s Fiddletails where Jenny delves into her considerable knowledge of folk tunes, especially American old time, and comes up with some real gems.


About Rosa Conrad

Teacher, writer, performer.
This entry was posted in Ensemble, Fun, music teaching, sheet music, violin and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s